Riches from the rock underground
Aguaturbia, 1970, Arena Records, Chile. £1,400
Aguaturbia are considered to be Chile’s premier psychedelic rock band. Formed in 1968, they released this self-titled debut album in 1970, in a micro-pressing of (allegedly) just 300 copies. Housed in a very fragile paper sleeve, it has become a much sought-after artefact among hardcore record collectors.
Mainstream record shops refused to stock the album, and they were greeted with condemnation by the church, largely due to the ‘controversial’ nature of the cover, which featured all band members sitting naked and seemingly wasted on drugs.
The band were gifted by the strong feminist presence of mesmeric frontwoman Denise Corales, whose excellent, soulfully out-there vocals weaved their magic over the groovy, fuzzed-out dynamics of the music.
‘The 10-minite, aciddrenched Carmesi Y Trebol is mind-melting.’
Carlos Corales was a psychedelic guitar wizard, his cosmic skills perhaps displayed most on Carmesi Y Trebol, a mind-melting, kaleidoscopic, 10-minute, acid-drenched rendition of Tommy James & The Shondells classic hit Crimson And Clover.
Largely made up of covers, the album thankfully doesn’t suffer from pastiche, as each track has a life of its own. Their excellent cover of Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody To Love displays a sisterly salute to that bands singer, Grace Slick, while their take on Muddy Waters’s Rollin’ And Tumblin’ is perhaps the most gloriously distorted blues cover you’re likely to hear. LD